Siliguri-based startup Teabox, which caters to a worldwide market of tea-lovers, has secured an undisclosed amount of funding from industrialist and prolific angel investor Ratan Tata.
The company plans to use the funding raised towards expansion to new markets and to fuel growth in existing markets. Kaushal Dugar, Founder and CEO at Teabox, said:
Ratan Tata’s guidance and tremendous experience in the tea industry will surely help us grow Teabox to be the global premium tea brand from India. Tata Global Beverages is the world's second-largest manufacturer and distributor of tea.
Founded in 2012 by Kaushal Dugar, Teabox is a premium tea brand that is focused on vertical integration of sourcing, branding and distributing teas – while upending the traditional tea-retailing model in the process. It sources the tea blends from Darjeeling, Assam, Nilgiris and Nepal and ships worldwide through its online platform.
The company claims to ship to over 93 countries and generates over 95 per cent of their revenue from customers outside India. “As of now regions like US, European Union, Middle East are major markets for us. This year we may focus on Indian market,” adds Kaushal. Last year Teabox launched its tea subscription business for consumers.
The company claims to have registered 2.5 times growth over the past one year. In March last year it secured over $6 million in Series A funding led by JAFCO Asia. The company had earlier raised $1 million seed round from Accel Partners and Horizen Ventures in early 2014.
Ratan Tata, who invests in his personal capacity, has invested in over 25 startups in the last 18 months including three unicorns - Ola, Paytm and Snapdeal.
Also read: 25 and counting: Ratan Tata & startups’ love story continues
India has been a prominent exporter of tea for the past 200 years. However, the country hasn’t witnessed the emergence of any premium tea brand operating on a global scale. Teabox aspires to establish itself as a global tea brand, truly made out of India. Tea industry is highly organised market in India as well as globally. It’s estimated to be a $40 billion industry.
(Disclaimer: Ratan Tata is an investor in YourStory Media Pvt Ltd)